In the Money section of the March 1, 2015 issue of the Washington Post, you’ll find an interesting interview with Chris Farrell, author of Unretirement, How Baby Boomers are Changing the Way We Think About Work, Community, and the Good Life. He makes some great points about why baby boomers may not have the savings to retire, and even if they did, they may not want to because they are thinking more along the lines of spending the next period of their life doing something that has meaning to them.
Compared to many jobs in the middle of the last century that were hard on the body, today more jobs are easier, and people can use their education, skills and experience to continue working. In answer to concerns that older workers would take away jobs from younger workers, he reminds us of similar concerns back when women joined the work force. However, instead of women taking jobs away from men, more jobs were created. Now, as older workers are creating new companies, jobs are being created for younger workers. Older workers won’t necessarily stay stuck in their cubicle for another twenty or thirty years – they’re more likely to take their knowledge and skills to work or do business in a different way.
At the end of the interview, Mr. Farrell makes the point that we should move past the stereotypes about older workers not being productive or contributing to the economy.
“When you start looking at the arts you find a lot of people get more creative as they age. Then you look at the law. Then at doctors. And then you start looking at management, at skilled craft people.
All of a sudden you start looking throughout the economy and you see there are a lot of really productive, creative people who are seniors. We need to break down this stereotype.”
Patients Are People, Too!
Baby Boomers are changing the definition of retirement. Have you thought about how you want to spend the next part of your life? What has meaning to you?